Kate B. Reynolds – Safer Opioid Prescribing Project

Safer Opioid Prescribing Initiative

A project of the Governor’s Institute and Substance Abuse, Inc. with generous support from the Kate B Reynolds Charitable Trust


  • Improve healthcare practitioners’ understanding of abuse, addiction, diversion issues; how to detect and/or factor these into legitimate pain control and adherence to safer opioid prescription practices.
  • Improve prescriber practices around substance abuse screening, brief intervention, and referral.
  • Heighten community awareness about prescription drug use and abuse, household storage, and disposal methods.

History of Initiative:

As prescription painkiller abuse has grown in the US, efforts to identify and enhance the response of healthcare practitioners have been made by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, CSAT, SAMHSA, NIDA and others.  In 2008, the Governor’s Institute (with support from NC Dept of Health and Human Services) funded a successful pilot program to comprehensively improve opioid prescribing in Carteret County through a CME program, community-based education, and individual provider trainings.  Similar Safer Opioid Prescribing trainings were then brought to Craven, Jones, Pamlico and Dare Counties in 2009.  In response to continuing requests for assistance, the Kate B Reynolds Charitable Trust funded expansion of this professional and community-based educational program in July 2009.  This expansion included CME course, community outreach, and technical assistance efforts for an additional 11 eastern NC counties (Beaufort, Columbus, Duplin, Edgecombe, Halifax, Lenoir, New Hanover, Robeson, Washington, Wayne, and Wilson), many of which host Federally Qualified Community Health Centers.  Although there are lasting effects and outcomes of this project, the project was completed in October 2011.

Project Components:

  1. Outreach and education to NC prescribers about safer opioid prescribing practices
  2. Community coalition-building around opioid abuse, prevention and treatment.
  3. Technical assistance to help individual practitioners and/or practices incorporate safer opioid prescribing methodologies into their practice settings


A Project of the Governor's Institute on Alcohol & Substance Abuse and the North Carolina Society of Addiction Medicine.
Funded wholly or in part by the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Fund (CFDA #93.959) as a project of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities & Substance Abuse Services.